Florida Department of Law Enforcement, November 20, 2021
MIAMI, Fla. – FDLE agents arrested Regla Beatrice Perez, 40, and Raimundo Ytulvide, 64, both of Miami, charged with false/fraudulent insurance claims. Ytulvide was also charged with scheme to defraud while Perez is also charged with grand theft.
The case began after an insurance company investigator contacted FDLE with information detailing what was believed to be a series of fraudulent water damage insurance claims made in the south Broward and north Miami-Dade County areas. It was alleged that certain South Florida water mitigation contractors were scheming with insurance public adjusters to defraud the insurance company by submitting inflated and fraudulent claims. If the insurance company questioned the claims, they were threatened by the contractors and public adjusters with civil lawsuits.
FDLE agents conducted undercover operations in homes that passed licensed home inspections confirming the plumbing was in good condition. Undercover agents, posing as homeowners, staged the homes with minor water leaks then called water mitigation contractors to assess the damage.
Agents found fraudulent practices at almost every stage of the insurance claim process including the responding plumbers, the water mitigation contractors, the assignment of a public adjuster and law firm paralegals coaching the homeowners on what to say to the insurance company.
Perez, a water mitigation contractor, and Ytulvide, a public adjuster, each engaged in submitting fraudulent claims to the insurance company totaling over $17,500.
The fraudulent claims included overbilling for unnecessary work, billing for excessive equipment, overstating the materials being used and inadequately documenting work they claimed to complete. Ytulvide was captured on video utilizing a water-soaked sponge to intentionally wet kitchen cabinets and a hallway closet to fabricate water damage.
Perez was arrested on September 22 while Ytulvide was arrested Thursday. Both were booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.